A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey Day 2: Cappadocia Caves, Cathedrals, and Castles Pt1

It was a rough night of sleep. We had trouble going to sleep and then the call to prayer went off right outside the window around 4am or 5am. It was so loud. I got up and videoed it as I didn't think anyone who'd never heard it before would believe how loud it is. We had to get up early anyway because we had an 830a flight to Cappadocia but four hours of sleep on top of an overnight flight and jetlag was rough.

We made our way downstairs to the diningroom in our morning haze to at least get a little breakfast.

Our car arrived to take us to the airport. This time there were lights on the ceiling.

We got checked in at Istanbul airport pretty quickly then set out to figure out where luggage storage was located. This proved to be quite the hunt. In order to avoid high luggage fees on the Cappadocia flight, we were leaving our big suitcases in luggage storage at the airport. I was assured repeatedly by Trip Advisor that this was possible. The problem was....no one I asked knew where it was. I asked employees walking by. Didn't know. I asked the information desk. They told me it was located on the other side of security. That made no sense to me but at least it was an answer. So we get to security with our big suitcases and they look at us like we're crazy. But we finally get an answer on where to go. We have to go back out security, then downstairs to the arrivals hall, then all the way to the other end at Door 14 (we were at Door 2) to the "left luggage" counter. Apparently that is what they call luggage storage and why no one could figure out what I was talking about. To my relief, we finally found it and hustled back upstairs to our gate. It was a good thing we arrived early.

We boarded our flight and an hour and a half or so later, landed at Nevsehir airport in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. This was the whole reason we were in Turkey. It was what swayed my decision to layover here rather than Singapore or South Korea.

We were picked up at the airport by a driver from Turkish Heritage Tours which would be our private tour for the next couple of days. We drove to the office in Goreme to handle the paperwork and pick up our guide, Emre. The weather was rainy and yucky but we were excited after we stopped at the first stop, the Goreme Panorama, where we got our first view of the fairy chimney formations famous in Cappadocia. This unusual-looking region of the country was formed some 2.5 million years ago after a volcanic eruption.


There were plenty of evil eyes for sale here and throughout the rest of Turkey. The Turkish people believe this eye can trap bad luck and negative energy and we noticed it everywhere we went.

The weather cleared out a little bit and we made our next stop at Goreme Open Air Museum. This is a complex of several churches and monasteries carved into the rock formations. The region was conquered by the Roman Empire from the Persians in 17AD and over the next few hundred years, it flourished as a haven for Christian monks.



We spent a couple of hours walking thru numerous churches built between 6th and 11th centuries. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed inside the churches. But inside the monastery, we were able to take a few pics. These are long dinner tables with frescoes painted on the end. The first one depicts The Last Supper.


Inside the caves, these holes were carved out to tie up livestock. The large hole held their feed and the smaller holes on the side were used to tie them up.

The caves were eventually abandoned by Christians after the rise of the Ottoman Empire and during that time, locals used the caves to raise pigeons. You can see their homing boxes carved into the stone.


It had been a while since breakfast and by now, we were getting hungry. Our guide took us to a local restaurant for lunch where we had a beef kebab and traditional sides. It was delicious.

After lunch, we drove thru the town of Avanos, famous for its pottery. This was, of course, a subtle push to get you to buy something. I did get to experience some pottery making with help from an expert. I did not get to keep the bowl.





We also stopped off at a jewelry store where I bought a traditional Turkish silver cuff-type necklace, bracelet, and earrings set.

Our last stop of the day was to Pasabag, also known as Monks Valley, famous for the mushroom-shaped chimney formations.





By now it was late afternoon and it had been a long day after a long flight. The jetlag was catching up with us so we called it quits for the day and Emre dropped us off at our hotel, Cappadocia Cave Suites. It was just like it sounds...a cave dwelling made into a hotel.





The hotel sat high above town and we had a private terrace.


Except for the cat family that lived on our terrace.

For dinner, we walked down the hill into town and had a tasty steak at Oscar Steakhouse. The cave buildings were beautifully lit at night.


They weren't serving alcohol because he said it was banned that day due to it being Election Day. While walking back to our hotel, we passed by a bar that was obviously serving alcohol and they agreed to sell us a bottle of wine to take back to our hotel. We had a toast on the terrace and enjoyed the view before collapsing in bed.


Posted by zihuatcat 20:40 Archived in Turkey Tagged cappadocia turkey brenda

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.